During the Peninsula War (1807-14) Scottish-born Lieutenant-General Sir John Cameron, K.C.B. of the 9th Foot saw not one but two horses killed under him and following a successful charge, he was involved in taking between 300-400 prisoners. Appointed one of the first Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B) on his return from the Peninsula Wars, in which his regiments losses exceeded those of any other regiment, his rare Regimental Commanders Peninsula War group of four will be sold by Mayfair-based Auctioneers Noonans
on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in a sale of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria. They are expected to fetch £70,000-90,000 and are being offered for sale by his descendants.
Appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the 9th Foot in September 1807, Cameron commanded the 2nd Battalion at Vimeiro the following year, and then, assuming command of the 1st Battalion - a position he retained throughout the Peninsula War he served under Sir John Moore in 1809 at Corunna where his intrepid bravery gained the praise of his superior in command; he returned to Portugal in March 1810 at head of his Battalion, being Mentioned in Despatches for Busaco where he exerted himself with the greatest gallantry in front during the charge, when his horse was killed under him; was wounded and fell from the breach at the final assault on San Sebastian. In the fiercely contested Battle of Nive, after finding his regiment surrounded by superior numbers, made a successful charge to the rear taking between 300- 400 prisoners. However, the following day, while observing, he became involved in a skirmish and had his horse shot from under him once more.
Camerons important journals and letters survived to be later published under the title, The Letters of Lt. Colonel Sir John Cameron, 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment of Foot, 1808-14, he was later appointed Colonel of the Regiment he had commanded for upwards of 13 years.
One extract reads: We sprang over the wall and moved rapidly against a strong body of the enemy posted outside of the convent, and on seeing these a very galling fire opened upon us from the adjacent buildings which I ordered to be forced. Woodham entering the largest in which he was killed after gaining the first floor at the point of the bayonet. The row was now at its height, some charging those posted at the convent, others clearing the houses of which the windows and other outlets the enemy availed themselves to escape and all uniting in full chase to the village of San Martin.
As Oliver Pepys, Auctioneer and Associate Director of Noonans, commented: Born in Culchenna, Inverness, Scotland in 1773, Sir John Camerons heroic career began at an early age. At just 21, he saw action with the 43rd Light Infantry in the West Indies at the captures of Martinique, St Lucia and Guadaloupe. There, he displayed his gallantry and won his captaincy at the storming of the Fortress of Fleur dEpée. As a junior captain, he was placed in command of his sickness-reduced regiment, and although he had suffered severe wounds, he was captured in the defence of Berville Camp on 4 October 1794, which resulted in him spending two years in a prison hulk off Pointe-á-Pitre, Guadaloupe.